On 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the Earth. This conference, 'Heavenly Discourses', is being held to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of that event. In almost every human culture the sky functions as a backdrop for mythical encounters, employing the celestial environment as a stage set for narratives of human and divine experience. That moment when human beings first left the planet gave us a different perspective on the sky. This conference will bring together scholars to examine the relationship between the heavens and culture through the arts, literature, religion and philosophy, both in history and the present. We invite proposals from academics in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences. Topics may include astronomy and music, literature, painting and the visual arts, architecture, religion, history and society.
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